27-Year-Old Deputy Shot, Killed During Traffic Stop
Video Screen Capture
The Orlando Sentinal via YellowBrix
December 09, 2010
ORANGE COUNTY, FL – An Orange County deputy sheriff making “an investigative traffic stop” was shot in the head and killed tonight on South Orange Blossom Trail, Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
“We lost a 27-year-old deputy sheriff tonight, out patrolling the streets of Orange County,” the sheriff said, flanked by his wife, Orlando police Chief Val Demings.
Asked what he told the young deputy’s widow, Demings said he told her that the community would stand behind her.
“I said to her that our law-enforcement agency — our law-enforcement family — we stand behind her,” Demings said. “That while we may be weakened tonight, we’re certainly not broken.”
Demings would not release the deputy’s identity because, while his wife had been told, other relatives had not. “We are still working through trying to notify family members of the death of the deputy.”
Demings confirmed a suspect in the shooting was located nearby and “may have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” Sources said a police dog and handler who heard a muffled gunshot discovered the deceased suspect.
A second suspect was still at large, and Demings said the manhunt was still on.
“I hope and pray that we locate the person responsible, and that justice will be done to whoever was involved,” he said.
Brandon Lyals was found dead after investigators say he was involved in the fatal shooting of an Orange County deputy during a traffic stop.
Demings said the deputy’s wife also is an Orange County deputy sheriff. He said the couple has been married about a year and have no children. He said the deputy and his wife had been with the Sheriff’s Office about 4 1/2 years.
High-ranking sheriff’s officials and Orlando police leaders congregated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, where the deputy was transported. A medical examiner’s van arrived about 10:30 p.m. and left nearly an hour later in a caravan led by deputies.
The deadly shooting began as a traffic stop about 8:30 p.m. near a storage center on South Orange Blossom trail, sheriff’s Capt Angelo Nieves said.
The deputy called in the stop, but calls about the shooting were phoned in by the public. When deputies arrived, the deputy was found shot. The suspects fled in a vehicle after the shooting said Nieves, who did not provide a description of the vehicle.
The second scene, where Demings said one suspect was found dead, was located about a mile away, at the Huntington On The Green apartment complex near South Texas Avenue and Americana Boulevard.
Authorities continued to hunt for others who may have been involved, Nieves said. “At this point we don’t have anyone in custody,” he said.
South Orange Blossom Trail near the scene of the shooting at 45th Street was been closed in both directions. Most side streets in the area also were closed.
Dozens of sheriff’s cruisers, Orlando police cars and Florida Highway Patrol troopers, along with officers wearing masks and body armor, remained in the neighborhood late Wednesday.
Authorities have offered a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest of the suspect still at large. Anyone with information can call the Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.
Asked to describe the deceased deputy, Demings said he was “a very professional law enforcement officer who enjoyed coming to work every day.” He said the deputy was very popular among his coworkers.
“He’s going to be missed,” Demings said. “He’s going to be missed within our agency.”